Nature must have handed your Uncle Ted a “roving commission” (On second thought, nobody handed him anything – – he’s won what he has by his own ability and effort). Be that as it may, he’s now headed for Bolivia, and by the time this letter is in the mail he will probably be winging his way over the continent to the south of us. He and Aunt Helen came up to Bridgeport Wednesday where I was able, fortunately, to be of some aid in straightening out a passport technicality, thus permitting Aunt Helen later to join Ted in Bolivia. It seems a big American engineering firm, backed jointly by the big Import-Export Bank and the Bolivian government, has about concluded negotiations for the building of some 500 miles through Bolivia of a Pan-American section of the super highway, and Ted was elected to act as sort of a John the Baptist in the matter, to go down there now and prepare the way for the final act before they get down to actual excavation. He estimates that it may turn out to be an eight year job but in any event, there will undoubtedly be openings for quite a bit of American skill and labor before it is finished. In fact, Ted asked me when I wrote Lad to say that he, Ted, would like to get Lad down there as soon as possible on diesel electric or similar work, and would like to have any suggestions as to how this could be made possible right now – – even to seeing if some wire pulling in Washington could be undertaken. He also hinted that later, there might be additional openings for some of you other boys. And that gave me an idea. You may recall that in one of my letters some time ago, I let my fancy have free reign and had you all in Alaska, Lad in charge of a big diesel electric power plant, Dan in some engineering or surveying or prospecting activity, Ced as a holder of his U.S. licensed airplane mechanic certificate (and now with his pilots operating license), Dick, who by the way wrote recently that besides paying the soldiers and making monthly reports, he has to make out the civilian payroll, prepare rosters of all Brazilians hired and fired. Because he now seems to have acquired enough Portuguese at school down there and in actual practice, he says his new boss, the Major, has ideas of putting him in complete charge of hiring, firing, sick leave, payroll, records, etc., of all our 500-odd Brazilian employees, and lastly Dave, running the business and in addition, producing on the spot, all those sundry business forms, printed matter, etc., with yours truly as the boss who sat at the top and looked important but made you fellows do all the work. Well, Ted’s remarks have inspired Act 2 of the Guion Saga, which I have attempted to set forth for your amusement in the attached.
Marian writes: “Our new home is very much nicer than the first one and we have kitchen privileges so we don’t have to eat out – – and from what we’ve sampled of “Southern cooking” we are just as glad. Somewhere along the way I’ve been sadly misinformed about Southern cooking (that’s not the only dissolution – – I imagined sitting on a porch, sipping mint juleps and sniffing magnolias and honeysuckle! Something is definitely wrong. Mississippi is as dry as can be and beer is a poor substitute for the mint julep). The couple who own the house where we are staying are working so we have the house to ourselves during the day. Lad’s classes are from 3:00 in the afternoon to 12:30 at night. He gets home about 1:30 and doesn’t have to report back to camp until to the next afternoon. Our new address is 303 Longino, Jackson, Miss., but your weekly morale builder-uppers, if sent to Lad, are certain to reach him that way. In case you are still wondering, the “we” referred to in my previous letter were two of the wives who came with me and a two-year-old boy. We all lived in the same place in Pomona so we decided to stick together and come here, too.”
A letter addressed to “Sneezy Guion, Ragweed, Conn.” from you-know-who in Alaska, arrived on the morning of September 11th, which shows pretty good timing, and started the day off right. It’s worth having a 60th birthday to find out what one’s boys think of their old man. Ced writes: “Once again I see by the calendar that the natal anniversary date of pater Guion approaches. This being most likely the last letter from an admiring son to be received in Trumbull before that date, must convey a message of thanks for all you have been to us all, and the very best wishes for you in the ensuing year. I wish that all of us could join you at the dinner table on the eventful day in body as well as in spirit. Be it a comfort to you to know that few up here can rival my record of one letter a week from home. One has the feeling that no matter what happens he can always fall back on Dad and be sure of the best that Dad can offer in the way of assistance. A token of appreciation is en route from the sourdough via carrier pigeon, underground telegraph or some other means of transportation but may not reach you until after your birthday. Last night and today have been a definite prelude to winter. Snow fell quite low in the mountains last night while a cold rain and accompanying wind hit town. I am of the opinion that this winter will be early, with lots of snow but not too severe. Some of the Buick parts have arrived and I start tomorrow putting the transmission together. (Ced next gives an interesting account of his watch repairs, and goes on to say) Now I can fly and keep track of my minutes in the air. The ship I am soloing in is the most luxurious of small planes but to operate the radio one must have a radio operators license so that too I must study for and obtain. In the meantime, I use the lights from the control tower. Eleanor Burnham is doing library work in New York with little children. Helen has gone to Syria on missionary schoolwork. Brad is in the Marines in the Pacific. Rusty (Heurlin) is at Pt. Barrow.” He writes he has completely quit drinking.
P.S. I found Dave’s letter in my car. See attached copy. This reminds me of the famous Sears Roebuck letter: Gentlemen: I git the pump witch I by from you, but why for Gods sake you doan send me no handle. Wats the use of a pump when she don have no handle, I lose to me my customer. Sure thing you don treat me rite. I wrote ten days gone and my customer he holler like hell for water from the pump. You no he is hot pumper and the win he no blow the pump. She got no handle so wat the hell I goan to do with it. If you doan send me the handle pretty quick I send her back and I order pump from Myers company. Goodby.
Since I write I find the dam handle in the box. Excuse to me.
Tomorrow, a letter from Dave to Grandpa regarding his birthday, on Thursday a one act play written by Grandpa and on Friday, more news from Marian.